Although uncomfortable, He is at peace. He has surrendered his past to his compassionate Lord, and today he has no want. He begins to recite the shepherd's psalm, but can't remember whether the sheep lie down or drink first. The servants come and go, concerned but helpless. “Yea though I walk through the valley.”
Then Abishag, a beautiful young virgin, is brought to be David's nursemaid. According to custom, she even cuddles close to David so her body warms his. He responds with appreciation, but that is all. The valley is dark, but he relaxes in the peace. His mind plays tricks on him and he again is running from enemies. They come from all sides. He sits down to a banquet and eats while they watch.
Abishag's warmth relaxes him, but he pushes her away, remembering again his grave weakness that led him to sin. He begins to mutter, barely understandable, “'Thy rod and thy staff they comfort.' Comfort? How many suffered for my sin? 'Surely goodness and mercy.' Mercy? Mercy, Lord, mercy! My sin is ever before me! 'cast me not away!'”
There is a knock at the door and Abishag answers it. It is Bathsheba. Bathsheba, a symbol of forgiveness. She speaks of their son, Solomon. Solomon, chosen by God to be the next king. Solomon, chosen by God to build the house of the Lord. Solomon, a symbol of David's sin and God's grace. A man guilty of blood cannot forget his sin and forgive himself, but apparently God can.
David turns to Bathsheba, “The Lord anointed me, but now it is Solomon's turn. Make him king. God has said he will be the one to build the house of the Lord. The materials are gathered. Things are ready. Just let me rest. My cup runs over. It is enough. Go, call the prophet Nathan, He will know what to do.” As she turns to leave, Bathsheba hears him whisper, almost inaudibly, “Surely, goodness and mercy have followed me and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever!”
If there is any one character in the Bible that we can despise—outside of Judas, of course—it would be David. Yet he died in the peace that he was forgiven. His prayer is my prayer, “Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation.” Psalm 51:12
“God made Him [Jesus] who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
References: 1 Kings 1; Psalm 23; Psalm 51